Hanging out on the hardwood

Posted 1/20/21

SRoauidtherSBt. o PyasuBl ainskseetabsaolnl F oapllesnteor By Bruce Karnick [email protected] The Raider boys graduated all but one starter last year, and that one is senior Japhi Gudissa …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Hanging out on the hardwood


SRoauidtherSBt. o PyasuBl ainskseetabsaolnl

F oapllesnteor

By Bruce Karnick

[email protected]

The Raider boys graduated all but one starter last year, and that one is senior Japhi Gudissa returning at point guard. Evan McGinnis is the only other returning player that saw consistent varsity playing time last season as the sixth man. Three players that graduated last year were All Conference and Gudissa was honorable mention for All Conference. Last year the Raiders finished 12-4 and they hope their young talent can maintain that heading into this year.

The Journal caught up with Head Coach Chad Feikema the morning of the season opener against South St. Paul.

“I think we need to learn a little bit about who we are. You know, we’re gonna have a big test here. Probably one of, if not the top team on our schedule. You know, so we’re playing in one of the conference favorites here. Them along with Tartan right off the bat, no non-conference games to get ready,” Feikema explained.

“With a whole new cast of players, I’ll be interested just to see how guys kind of respond in situations. The question for us really, as far as the game goes, is are we going to be able to do the kind of things that we’ve worked on, are we going to be able to generate open shots. We’ve got a bunch of really good shooters, but not necessarily a super athletic team, we don’t have a lot of size, you know, we’re a small team. We’re skilled, and we shoot the ball well,” Feikema said.

When Coach Feikema says a small team, it’s because they only have one player over six feet tall. The majority of the guys are around 5’10”. To most of us, that is not what we would call small, but in the basketball world, that can be a challenge on the court, especially in rebounding, which is something Feikema said is, “another thing to watch.”

The first half of the game, South St. Paul jumped out to an early, double digit lead and kept the pressure on. The shots that Feikema were looking for, the open three pointers, were there at times, but just didn’t seem to fall for Hastings, and rebounding in the first half was an issue, at least early on in the first half. By the time the half time hit, the Raiders trailed the Packers by 22. The score was 47-25.

The second half was much better on the floor for Hastings. The shots they were taking were going in, unfortunately, they were also falling for the Packers. The second half had both teams scoring 45 points for the final to be South St. Paul 92, Hastings 70.

Leading scorers for Hastings were Japhi Gudissa with 32 points and Michael Mitchel with 17 points.

The boys will take on Hill-Murray at home on Tuesday the 19th and travel to Mahtomedi Thursday. To keep you in the loop of games coming up after this story is published, they take on Tartan on the 26th at home and Simley the 29th, also at home.

GIRLS BASKETBALL Unfortunately, the Girls game against South St. Paul was cancelled due to COVID protocols on South St. Paul’s end. The next two weeks of games for the girls are: 1/19 at Hill-Murray, 1/21 home against Mahtomedi, 1/26 at Tartan and 1/28 at Simley.

The Raiders #15 Carter Olson battles the Packers’s #23 Devin Newsome for the season opening tip of the 2021 basketball season in South St. Paul. A dominant first half by South St. Paul would be the deciding factor in the Raiders 92-70 loss. Photo by Bruce Karnick